Around the Grounds
Several clubs have already been in contact and told us what they will be doing this year to highlight the work they are doing for disabled supporters. We will continue to update this as and when we receive more information from clubs and/ or DSA’s.
Here is a selection of what some of the governing bodies/ clubs/ DSA’s are doing:
The FA will be promoting the LPF Weeks of Action in the news section of the FA Cup semi-final programmes. The FA Cup semi-finals are being held at Wembley on the 13/14th April. The Football league is advertising the Weeks of Action on their website and through their newsletter, as is the Football Conference and Ryman League. The Rugby Football League has provided all of its Championship clubs with a promotional article which will be included in their matchday programmes.
Plan to hold several events at their game against Norwich on the 13th April including:
- Having a disabled ball carrier
- Disabled supporters to welcome teams prior to match
- Free tickets for new disabled supporters
- In conjunction with their Community Depatment organise a disability awareness day for local school children
- Run a competition in a national disability magazine to win a pair of disabled supporter’s tickets for the Norwich City game.
- Will celebrate the Weeks of Action against Derby County on the 13th April, for details please see here.
Will celebrate the Weeks of Action on the 4th May against Blackburn Rovers, activities include:
DSA bucket collection before the match
players to wear LPF logoed T Shirts to warm up prior to the match
DSA members to carry a banner out in front of teams onto the field of play with both the club and LPF logo on it
DSA members to take part in half time chip and win competition
Include a piece in their match day programme featuring the various events the BCDSC have conducted this season
Display a piece on the Big Screen and will again use the LPF logo
At their match v’s Huddersfield Town on the 2nd April activities include:
- Members of the Bolton Wanderers Supporters Association (BWDSA) meeting a player prior to the game
- Two page spread in the match day programme that will include information on LPF, information on the BWDSA and what Bolton Wanderers FC offer, Information on what the Community Trust offer and a public invitation to our first disabled forum.
- Two complimentary wheelchair and PA tickets for Huddersfield Town FC
- launching our audio match day programme
Charlton Athletic DSA
are hosting a new website and quiz night, on the evening of 19th April at The Valley. The proceeds of this event will benefit the disabled supporters at Charlton and the Charlton Ability Counts scheme, who organise football matches for disabled players. More information can be found on www.sites.google.com/site/charltonathleticdsa
are including an article on ‘Inclusive Blues in Action’ in their matchday programme at their home game against Boston United on the 6th April. The article celebrates the work disabled people do at the club from volunteering in the office, to selling matchday halftime draw tickets to coaching the youth squad.
Dagenham and Redbridge
are holding a disabled forum on the 19th March and including advert for Level Playing Field in their matchday programme against Oxford on April 13th. A follow up article on the disabled forum will appear in a future matchday programme.
are please to kick off the LPF Action Weeks on the 6th April 2012 when they will entertain a group of supporters from MAPS Activities whose aims are to help people with physical and/or learning disabilities fulfill their potential, by make their own decisions.
One of their members will be the Match Mascot and articles are being written by their members for publication in the Match Day Programme.
The club is now working together with MAPS to run a weekly drop in centre at our ground for their members who will be able to enjoy many different activities. Fleet are looking forward to a long and rewarding relationship with MAPS.
are highlighting the Weeks of Action on their website and matchday programme on the 6th April. The website article looks at the ECDSA and facilities at St James Park and can be viewed here or here on the ECDSA website.
are celebrating the LPF Weeks of Action on the 20th April, further details to follow.
are including a feature on the LPF Weeks of Action in their programme on the 28th April.
are including a matchday programme feature on the LPF Weeks of Action and their disability initative at their first home game in May.
will be celebrating the LPF Weeks of Action throughout March, with more details to follow.
Manchester City DSA
have included an article on the LPF Weeks of Action in their March edition of their newsletter, which includes information on some of the activities the club and DSA have done for disabled supporters this season.
Manchester United/Manchester United Foundation/MUDSA
are highlighting how they approach disability for the LPF Weeks of Action both on and off the pitch through their match day programme, t shirts and banners.
Have several activities planned for their game against Crawley Town on the 6th April including:
- Pre match game between an MK Dons and a Crawley Town disability football teams.
- All players, and all PA’s, then given complimentary tickets to attend the game at stadium MK (300 tickets available)
- Guard of honour for the teams coming out of the tunnel, formed by some of MK Dons disabled players.
- Ball carried to centre spot by Adam Faiers of the MKDSA who has cycled to every away game this season to raise money for disabled charities
- Parade of MK Dons disabled players and supporters, as well as supporters from Crawley Town around the pitch at half time.
- Ability Counts booklet handed out on day of game
- MK Dons are hosting a fans forum for their disabled supporters to meet the manager, chairman. Enjoy a tour of the stadium, and numerous try it out days to see if any newcomers would like to join any of their disability teams.
are holding an event late March with their Learning Disabled Football team.
are supporting the Weeks of Action on Saturday 13th April, activities include:
A mention in the match day programme
Big screen acknowledgement for Level Playing Field
Welcome to members of their disabled supporters clubs
Tickets have been distributed to teams in the Sheffield and Hallamshire Ability Counts League
Guard of Honour – St Wilfirid’s (charity supporting homeless and vulnerable) and Spartans FC (Ability Counts Team)
are supporting the Weeks of Action on the 4th May, activities include:
- A double-page spread in the match day programme and a LPF logo on the front cover
- A disabled match day flag bearer
- Foundation Department running a Free Disability football event for both Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton disabled under 16’s supporters
- A player appearance at one of our Foundation disability programmes next Thursday (2nd) at Oakleigh School in Barnet at around 2pm which will be filmed by Sky Sports News.
- Footage of the above player appearance to be shown on the big screens pre-match on the match day.
- Information put on the back of the press team-sheet
On Saturday 23rd February Watford FC held their Level Playing Field Week of Action event. They invited Special schools, Colleges, Day Centres, clubs and the Hertfordshire Player Development Centre along as guest to see Watford play Derby County. At half time they presented the Every Player Counts ‘unsung hero of the year’ award to Oliver Storey for his work as a matchday volunteer.
For over 10 years West Brom have been inviting the WBADSC to watch a full training session at the Hawthorns followed by a meal and opportunity to meet the first team players and coaching staff for autographs. This year the event fell inside the Weeks of Action.
West Ham Utd
Community Department is organizing a football training session for a local people with Downs Syndrome. They also have a disabled supporter with Down Syndrome coming along to the West Brom game on 30th March to meet David Gold pitch side. They are also hoping to bring a small group of children with Down Syndrome from the local community to the same game.
Wingate and Finchley FC
of the Ryman league prior to their game on the 10th March held a disability tournament for their learning disability team against other local set ups. The players then received free admission to watch the match.
Plan to get their disabled supporters together prior to the game on the 13th April for a social gathering and to officially launch the DSA and generate even further interest. More details to follow.
are celebrating the LPF Weeks of Action at their game against Kidderminster Harriers on 13 April. They’re intending to raise awareness of the DSA and disability issues throughout the club by doing the following:
Inviting a WST Board and a Club Board member to be a wheelchair user during the entire match
Put a one page article about the DSA in the match programme
Parade the WFC Disabled Football squad at half time
Hand out DSA membership forms to interested fans coming through the turnstiles
Produce and display a WFC DSA banner
Statements of Support
The Level Playing Field Weeks of Action 2013 campaign has received a large number of statements of support from a large number of interested parties.
A selection of the statements we have received can be found below – please note that this will be added to as more statements of support come in.
David Bernstein, President of Level Playing Field.
‘As President of Level Playing Field, I am delighted to support this year’s Weeks of Action campaign. We all have a responsibility to ensure that sport is truly inclusive and that naturally includes the many disabled spectators who are sports fans. I wish every success to everyone involved with this year’s events.’
Andrew Shaw, Vice President, Level Playing Field and Director, Football Conference.
‘I wish Level Playing Field every success with this year’s Weeks of Action. This important event is to be welcomed, as it continues to raise awareness during the two weeks but perhaps most importantly all year round.’
Lord Richard Rosser, LPF and Ryman League Vice President.
‘I fully support Level Playing Field’s Weeks of Action and believe that disabled people have just as much a right as non-disabled people to follow and enjoy watching their favourite sports live on match days and along with their fellow fans’
Lord Richard Faulkner, LPF and Football Conference Vice President.
‘The goal of ensuring that sports and live events are fully inclusive and accessible to all matters to everyone. I am delighted to offer my full support to Level Playing Field and all the vital work it carries out. I wish everyone involved a hugely successful two Weeks of Action.’
June Wratten, LPF Ambassador and head of LPF Awards.
‘My family and I have personal experience of the importance of good access to sporting events as my son was a passionate disabled football fan who spent his weekends attending matches. It meant so much to Joseph and all the family to be able to share this great joy and there can be no better legacy to him than to see all clubs become fully accessible.’
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, DBE, 11-time Paralympic Games gold medallist and Cross Bench Peer of the House of Lords
‘I would like to offer my full support to the Level Playing Field Weeks of Action campaign this year. Disabled people have a huge role to play in sport and it is vital that facilities are accessible for this to happen. The Weeks of Action are a fantastic opportunity for sports clubs to not only highlight their accessible services and facilities, but also to look at how they can continue to improve in the future.’
David Gale, Trailblazers Ambassador.
‘Trailblazers fully support this year’s Level Playing Field awareness campaign. The work highlighted during these two weeks and throughout the year remains close to our hearts at Trailblazers. We hope that as many sporting clubs as possible will take part and show off the positive work they are doing.’
Leroy Binns, Campaigns Assistant, Mencap.
‘I am passionate about football. Everyone should be able to support their team by going to games. Football, indeed all sports, should be open to everyone. I support the Level Playing Field Weeks of Action, as they help clubs and fans achieve this.’
Hayley Jarvis, Inclusive Activities Manager, National Deaf Children’s Society
‘The National Deaf Children’s Society wishes Level Playing Field a successful two weeks. We have worked closely with LPF on Disability Awareness projects at sports clubs in recent years and have seen first-hand what a positive impact this work has had on the children, young people and clubs involved. The Level Playing Field Weeks of Action reminds everyone that sport should be accessible to all.’
Shaun Basham, Engagement Manager, Guide Dogs
“I am pleased to endorse the ‘Week of Action’ campaign and congratulate level Playing Field on the positive work and achievements you have made to ensure all sports fans enjoy a positive and equal experience when attending matches. Guide Dogs have enjoyed participating in various collaborative events with Level Playing Field and have worked closely with clubs and local communities to help raise awareness of access and inclusion issues affecting disabled supporters. Guide Dogs wish you success with your excellent campaign”
Lord Herman Ouseley, Chair for Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion campaign.
‘Kick It Out is delighted to support Level Playing Field’s Weeks of Action again this season and we continue to work together to ensure continued progress towards equal access for all sports fans.’
Professor Derek Fraser, Independent Football Ombudsman
‘There is great logic in sports stadiums being as accessible as possible, and Level Playing Field’s Weeks of Action offer a great chance for clubs to showcase the access improvements they have made. I support the Weeks of Action and hope to hear of a really successful campaign’
Gordon Taylor OBE, Chief Executive of the Professional Footballers Association
‘Every year the Level Playing Field Weeks of Action campaign focuses on disabled supporters and the work carried out to improve access at professional football clubs around the country. I am delighted to give my support to such an important initiative and hope 2013 sees another successful event.’
Paul Thorogood, CEO, The Football Stadia Improvement Fund.
‘We are pleased to endorse the Level Playing Field Weeks of Action and to offer our on-going support to the initiative which extends across all sports. It is important that stadiums are accessible and inclusive for all, and these Weeks of Action offer a great opportunity for clubs and disabled fans groups to celebrate the positive works being undertaken.’
Andrea Brown, Customer Services Manager, The Football League
‘The Football League fully supports the Level Playing Field Weeks of Action and we are committed to continuing a positive relationship with the organisation as we continue to work together to improve the customer service experience of all disabled supporters.’
Sarah Williams, Equality & Diversity Manager, Rugby Football League
‘The RFL are delighted to support the Level Playing Field Weeks of Action, it is vital for the future of all sporting organisations and clubs to ensure that their polices, facilities and services are accessible to disabled people. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the staff at Level Playing Field for the invaluable advice and support you have provided Rugby League in our efforts to improve the match day experience for our disabled supporters. We wish you continued success over these two weeks and for the future.’
Paul Darling QC, Chairman Sports Ground Safety Authority
‘I am proud to support Level Playing Field’s Weeks of Action once again this season and send the best wishes of everyone at the Sports Ground Safety Authority as we look forward to another successful campaign to promote equal services and facilities for disabled sports fans’
Ruth Shaw, CEO at the Sports Ground Safety Authority
‘Everyone should be able to support their team in safety, security and in comfort, and between 6th-21st April, sports clubs around the country have the opportunity to highlight what they are doing for disabled supporters, and to showcase best practice. Level Playing Field plays a critical role in enabling more disabled people to attend live sporting events, and the Weeks of Action are an excellent way for clubs to support that, share good practice and raise awareness.’
Richard Bevan, Chief Executive, League Managers Association
‘The Level Playing Field Weeks of Action are a fantastic opportunity for clubs to look at ways they can make their stadiums more accessible for disabled fans. I wish Level Playing Field the very best for this season’s campaign on behalf of everyone at the LMA’
Brian Lee, Chairman of the Football Conference.
‘Everyone at Football Conference wishes Level Playing Field the greatest success in 2013. Following football can have such a positive effect on the life of a disabled person. The two Weeks of Action help to remind us all that attending a football match should be accessible to all fans.’
Alan Turvey, Chairman, Ryman Football League
‘Everyone at the Ryman Football League supports the 2013 Level Playing Field Weeks of Action campaign. The campaign reminds us that watching sport should be accessible for everyone, and that there is no place for disability abuse. Sport should be inclusive and allow all fans to support their team together, free from discrimination.’
Kev Monks LPF Joseph Wratten Award Winner 2012
For many disabled people, the chance to watch or participate in sport is a welcome relief from the problems of day to day living, even for just a few hours. “That’s why, I am fully supporting the Level Playing Field’s Weeks of Action campaign and wish it every success.”
Albert Bosely, LPF Volunteer Award Winner 2012
‘It was a pleasure and honour to win the LPF Award last season during the Weeks of Action, a campaign I whole heartedly support. It is something that will stay with me forever. Walking out onto the Notts County pitch to receive the award was one of the proudest moments of my life.’
Matt Lawson, Community Officer & Nutritionist at Notts County FC
‘LPF have been fantastic to Notts County and recognising Albert Bosely for his work with Lifeline was something that touched us all at the football club. We support everything that the Weeks of Action promote and cannot thank them enough.’
Dennis Green, Wolves DSA Secretary
‘Wolves DSA are delighted to be supporting the Level Playing Field Weeks of Action and are working with Wolverhampton Wanderers to raise disability awareness and improve access. The Weeks of Action are a great way to highlight the positive partnership work between clubs and DSA’s around the country and as such are an important event to celebrate.’